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Drug Czar Clarification: ‘Smoked Marijuana’ Is Dangerous And Has No Medicinal Value?

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director August 8, 2009

    In an attempt to clarify an apparent gaffe made a few weeks ago to California media stating that “marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal value”, drug czar Gil Kerlikowske in a new interview with his hometown media in Seattle has only slightly, almost imperceptibly, modified his remarks by now implying that somehow how ‘smoked‘ medical cannabis is not a legitimate and effective drug delivery method:

    When asked about his comments a few weeks ago Kerlikowske told KOMO news “I certainly said that legalization is not in the president’s vocabulary nor is it in mine. But the other question was in reference to smoked marijuana. And as we know, the FDA has not determined that smoked marijuana has a value, and this is clearly a medical question that should be answered by the medical community.”

    KOMO also reports:

    Kerlikowske’s stand on legalizing marijuana for everyone is more clear-cut. The Office of National Drug Control Policy, by law, actively works against legalizing drugs.

    Kerlikowske takes on last jab at cannabis by continuing his predecessor’s  proclivity to mislead the media and public by claiming “You know from the University of Washington, the number one call from young people for treatment here, after alcohol, is marijuana. So I’m not seeing the benefit to society with legalization here.”

    Number one, cannabis is not legal in Washington state, or anywhere in the US, 2) youth in Washington, and all around the US, after being ensnared by the hundreds of thousands per year by cannabis prohibition laws enforced by the criminal justice system (or university police), are provided with the Hobson’s Choice of either going to jail or so-called ‘treatment’.

    Mr. Kerlikowske should cease employing this rhetorical straw man as he is intelligent enough to know its inaccuracy, but continues to adopt the failed rhetoric of prior hardliner drug czars Gen. Barry McCaffrey and John Walters, who consistently made the same claims during their tenure, and lost credibility every time they continued to propound such obviously misleading propaganda.

    Kerlikowske’s latest unfortunate remarks affirm cannabis law reformers have much work left to do! Maybe our good drug czar should call actor Patrick Swayze and ask him ‘if he is benefiting from smoked medical cannabis?’

    Patrick Swayze, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer over a year ago, is using medical marijuana to relieve the pain of his last days of chemotherapy.

    According to a family insider, Swayze, 56, has found that smoking marijuana helps with his nausea, inability to sleep, and anxiety. The insider noted on the actor’s slight weight gain as well as adding that he (Swayze) feels more “normal than he has in months.”

    Pictures have surfaced of Swayze out with his brother Donnie looking much healthier than he had weeks before.

    “Patrick was rapidly losing weight because he couldn’t keep good down. He was so weak, he needed help getting around,” the source told the magazine.

    “Marijuana works extremely well for many cancer patients. It helps fight nausea from chemotherapy treatments and may alleviate anorexia or loss of appetite,” Dr. Ron Kennedy of Santa Rosa, CA, said of the situation.

    116 Responses to “Drug Czar Clarification: ‘Smoked Marijuana’ Is Dangerous And Has No Medicinal Value?”

    1. Tristan says:

      I love NORML and I’m behind you, fighting the good fight. NORML has given us a stamp of legitimacy here in the U.S. That being said, a good editor or even just a few once overs of the blog would do everyone some good. I enjoyed your thorough pelting of the drug czar but I could just imagine Kerlikowske’s aid reading this and saying, “These potheads can’t even put a few sentences together.” We’re better than this folks. Good stuff though.

      [Editor’s Note: What specific sentences do you have a problem with? Criticism without solutions is not very helpful.]

    2. Rebel with a cause says:

      No one has “PROVEN” that cannabis is harmful, or dangerous. They just say it is. I demand that someone “PROVE” that it is harmful, and dangerous. Come on! “PROVE IT.” I dare ya! I’m fuckin’ tired of your lip service. I want hard scientific facts. You’re challenged! Put up, or shut up!

    3. Anonymous says:

      how is it that the most ignorant people get to such high positions of authority in this society something needs to change very soon we cannot be subjected to said ignorance much longer and expect society to continue to function.

    4. Maui420L says:

      This is anything but suprizing… anyone believing marijuana will be made legal and that they will continue to let california or any other state continue on the path they are on is dilusional…
      the only people that will be able to grow and distribute in the near future will be the drug companies after the FDA comes up with a plan and the gov. approves it so all the lobbyist can make billions…
      I bet in the next 6 month the DEA make major raids nation wide to shut down the movement and detains all those who have got us this far thus scaring the general public back into the closet…
      This government is giving no idication of changing any policies twords MJ and to think all the freedom we have today will remain is nieve…
      there is far too much money in it for them to ever allow you to grow it for free…

    5. Fireweed says:

      What is it that people are so afraid of? I think there still is a reefer madness perception that if they legalize it all hell will break loose. Either that or it’s the Bewitched principle, that for no determinent reason, it’s just wrong to do.

    6. Mars says:

      I have an idea for an ad-campaign. Instead of blatantly asking for the legalization of marijuana, which were not allowed to air on some channels, make the commercials more humorous and outlandish, to spoof the anti-marijuana commercials.

      You would still, technically, be airing an anti-marijuana ad; but the real message would be an attack at “reefer madness” commercials.

    7. Jon says:

      I love how we have proved that medical marijuana helps people and they still deny it.

    8. Rayvyn says:

      When are we going to start electing officials that have a sence of shame? Because they are quite shameful. Heres a thought: Everyone is so sick of how the government is spending their tax dollars, set up a mass esgrow account for federal tax payers, until the powers that be learn their place in this country, they have no federal money to spend. If were sick of it, we need to act on it. Mr. Obama, last I checked it was “yes WE can” not “yes YOU can”.

    9. bob says:

      probably the best push possible to show the value of cannabis to the people

    10. Maui420L says:

      I am not suprized at all…
      They have no plans to make it available to anyone unless the FDA and the drug companies are involved…
      There is just too much money involved…
      They will close down Cali and all other MMJ facilities and state programs, arrest all the activist that have gotten us this far and drive it back into the closet…
      The Gov has shown no sign of working to achieve a sensible solution to the driconian path it has taken for decades… they care little for the sick and dying, and have chosen to let the people suffer, all for greed…
      if you think we’ll ever be legally able to grow our own for free your nieve… there is too much $$$ at stake…

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